A district judge in the U.S., Virginia A. Phillips ruled that Nicki Minaj didn’t commit copyright infringement when she experimented with Chapman’s 1988 song “Baby Can I Hold You” before she tried to get her permission to use some elements from her song.
Minaj was victorious for herself and other artistes all over the world on Wednesday because a judge ruled on her side in the Tracy Chapman’s copyright infringement lawsuit sources revealed.
The judge revealed that there were entertainers in the music industry who would play around with older songs before they approached the copyright owners and asked for permission to get the proper licensing done, because the rights owners might want to listen to the song first before they grant permission for the licensing”. The judge did not want to tamper with the creativity of the artistes as this could stifle innovation and limit musicians.
The song “Sorry” was created by Minaj, in it she borrowed most of the lyrics and a part of the melody from “Baby Can I Hold You,” and she planned to put the track on her 2018 album “Queen”, but her request to sample Chapman’s song was turned down repeatedly by the copyright holder, as she claimed in her suit to have a policy against granting giving permission at all times.
However, a leaked version of “Sorry” was found by Funkmaster Flex who played a portion of the track and it was later aired on The Breakfast Club. Both Minaj and her authorized representatives denied giving the audio to them. Her attorneys also said that artistes should get the freedom to use a variety of melodies, beats, etc. before they determine what the sound of the final product will be.
The lawyers who represented Nicki believe that a ruling in Chapman’s favour would put an administrative and financial burden too early in the process of creativity and all but the rich creators would be forced to abandon their visions at the beginning, this caused the Judge to rule in favour of Minaj who was protected under the “fair use” doctrine that is being used.